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19th “1_WALL” Photography

Today, modes of artistic expression are becoming increasingly diversified, and together with artists who wholeheartedly seek to express themselves in new ways, Guardian Garden aspires to be a venue for considering new expressive modes. This aspiration derives from our hope that artists will overcome any hurdles in their way by offering them a gallery wall where they can express themselves freely, through their works.

Judging Results

Final Round of Judging

Grand Prize

"Living, being there"
Den Gai
Born in 1984 / Graduated from Nippon Photography Institute.
This empty town was the start of my memories. In my childhood, the fact that things have endings was etched in my memory. I photograph people who were born and raised in the same place, and multiple feelings of nostalgia reflect in their faces.

Final Round of JudgingFri. October 12, 2018

The third and final round of judging is conducted open to public viewing. The six finalists give presentations of their works on display and their plans for their solo exhibition if they win the Grand Prize. The judges discuss the merits of each finalist’s portfolio, works shown, and presentation, and together decide the winner of the Grand Prize.

“1_WALL” ExhibitionWed. September 26, 2018 - Fri. October 19, 2018

A group exhibition is held spotlighting the six finalists to emerge from the second round of judging. Each finalist is allocated a gallery wall (approx. 3.85m wide and 2.5m high) to display their works. Besides the works themselves, the judges also take into consideration how the finalists use their overall display space and how they show their works.

Success in the Second Round of Judging


  • "To the sea"

    Masami Ueda

    Graduated from Tamagawa University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts and Nippon Photography Institute.



    Born in 1984

  • "To a distant room, in an unknown city"

    Sana Kohmoto

    Born in 1990

    Graduated from Musashino Art University, Department of Imaging Arts and Sciences.

  • "Living, being there"

    Den Gai

    Born in 1984

    Graduated from Nippon Photography Institute.

  • "picture window"

    Mariko Hara

    Born in 1982

    Graduated from Tokyo Zokei University with a degree in Design.

  • "you and me"

    Tetra Marui

    Completed PhD coursework in the Department of Inter-Media Art at Tokyo University of the Arts.

Judges’ Encouragement Prizes

  • "my everything"

    Nazumi Hayashi

    Selected by Ryo Sawayama

  • "Meiji Monument"

    Zhang Yu

    Selected by Risaku Suzuki

  • "・repetition ・seeing ・repetition"

    Nanao Tsukuda

    Selected by Yoshihisa Tanaka

  • "Lighthouse"

    Kazuhei Kimura

    Selected by Kimi Himeno

  • "Indirect things"

    Akinobu Ikeda

    Selected by Rei Masuda

Second Round of JudgingThu. July 19, 2018

A portfolio review is held one-on-one between each entrant and a judge. Here, the entrants are given the opportunity to directly explain the motives behind their works or their production process. After all portfolio reviews are completed, the judges assemble to discuss their assessments and select the six finalists.

Success in First Round of Judging

Entrants Who Successfully Passed the First Round of Judging

  • Akinobu Ikeda
  • Masami Ueda
  • H/N
  • Maki Ogawa
  • Rintaro Ogiwara
  • Takayasu Ono
  • Arashi Kasamine
  • Kazuhei Kimura
  • Sana Kohmoto
  • Yukari Sasaki
  • Yuhi Sato
  • Xin Tian
  • Maaya Suzuki
  • Maiko Suzuki
  • Misako Taoka
  • Koyuki Tayama
  • Zhang Yu
  • Nanao Tsukuda
  • Den Gai
  • Yuichi Hasebe
  • Nazumi Hayashi
  • Mariko Hara
  • Kohei Maekawa
  • Tomoyuki Matsushita
  • Tetra Marui
  • Ai Mieda
  • Masashi Mihotani
  • Kentaro Mori
  • Aoi Yamanouchi
  • Yasuhide Yoshimura

Portfolio JudgingTue. June 26, 2018 - Wed. July 18, 2018

Judging is performed based on entrants’ work files and data. The judges, all prominent in their respective fields – design, illustration, photography, etc. – plus members of the secretariat, render their judgments from various perspectives. Thirty entrants are selected to continue on to the second round of judging.

Grand Prize Award Privileges


Solo Exhibition at Guardian Garden

200,000 JPY to prepare for the solo exhibition

Scheduled to take place in June-July,2019

The Grand Prize winner receives the opportunity to hold a solo exhibition at Guardian Garden roughly one year after the “1_WALL” Exhibition. The gallery is provided free of charge, and the winner is presented 200,000 JPY to prepare for the show. Publicity assistance, including support in preparing a show leaflet, is also provided.


This series of exhibitions features former participants in “1_WALL” competitions who passed the first round of judging. All entrants meeting those qualifications are eligible. To date, exhibitions have focused attention on up-and-coming art directors, graphic designers, illustrators and photographers.


Finalists in “1_WALL” competitions (entrants who have passed the first and second rounds of judging) can have their name registered on the ARTIST page accessible on the Guardian Garden website.


  • Ryo Sawayama

    (Art Critic)

    Born in 1982. In 2007 he completed a Master of Art degree at Musashino Art University Graduate School of Science of Design. In 2009, his essay “Labor-work: Carl Andre and His Concept of Art Making” was selected for first prize in the 14th Art Critic Essay Contest organized by BIJUTSUTECHO. He teaches part-time at both Musashino Art University and Tokyo Metropolitan University, and is a frequent contributor to articles, magazines, etc.

  • Risaku Suzuki


    Born in Shingu, Wakayama, in 1963. In 2000 he received the 25th Kimura Ihei Award in Photography for “PILES OF TIME.” His recent publications include “Water Mirror” (Case Publishing / Fine-Art Photography Association), “SAKURA” (edition nord), “Étude” (SUPER LABO), “Between the Sea and the Mountain – Kumano ” (amanasalto), “Ishiki no nagare” [Stream of Consciousness] (edition nord) and “Atelier of Cézanne” (Nazraeli Press).

  • Yoshihisa Tanaka

    (Graphic Designer and Artist)

    Born in 1980. His major work to date includes VI planning for Tokyo Photographic Art Museum and other cultural facilities, art direction of the POST bookshop and the TOKYO ART BOOK FAIR, and periodic creation of works as an artist. He is also active as half of the artist duo “Nerhol,” together with sculptor Ryuta Iida.

  • Kimi Himeno

    (Principal and director of AKAAKA Art Publishing)

    Established AKAAKA Art Publishing in 2006. To date the company has published more than 200 books, mainly photo books and art books. Publications include many recipients of the Kimura Ihei Award: Lieko Shiga (“CANARY” 2007); Atsushi Okada (“I am” 2007); Masashi Asada (“Asadake” 2008); Cozue Takagi (“MID” 2009; “GROUND” 2009); Arata Dodo (“Taigan” 2012); Ryuichi Ishikawa (“A Grand Polyphony” 2014; “okinawan portraits 2010-2012” 2014); and Aya Fujioka (“Here Goes River” 2017). Since 2018 she is also a professor at Osaka University of Arts.

  • Rei Masuda

    (Chief curator at The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo)

    Born in Kobe in 1968. Completed the graduate course in Area Studies at the University of Tsukuba. Since 1992 he has worked at The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (MOMAT). Among exhibitions he has curated in recent years are: “Josef Koudelka Retrospective” (2013), “Narahara Ikko: Domains” (2014), and “Thomas Ruff” (2016).